The 2010 year is now upon us, and that means a clean slate for the Toronto Raptors. The disappointing 2009 season is a thing of the past, and its time to start fresh. As far as I'm concerned, every team in the NBA has a record of 0-0. So who do the Raptors "open the season" against? The Boston Celtics. Then the San Antonio Spurs. Then the Orlando Magic. Yikes.
Now, your first thought is probably "loss, loss, loss" right?
The combined record of the three teams is 65-27. The Raptors have already played the Spurs and Celtics once and the Magic three times, and have lost all five games by an average margin of 11.2 points. The one time the Raptors played the Spurs, the Spurs put up 131 points without Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.
The Magic and Celtics games will be played on the road (the two best teams). The Raptors are 5-12 away from the ACC.
Hedo Turkoglu is doubtful for tomorrow's game against Boston. Jose Calderon didn't even make the trip.
The Spurs have won 4 straight.
And most importantly--the Raptors are 16-17. The Celtics, Magic and Spurs are 23-8, 23-8, and 19-11 respectively.
Based on this, the Raptors have absolutely no shot, right? Well, I did some more digging, and found some information that may actually change your mind.
The Celtics were winless on their 3 game road trip, losing to the Clippers (at the buzzer), Warriors, and Suns. Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett AND Paul Pierce won't play tomorrow night. That means Chris Bosh will go up against Rasheed Wallace, Brian Scalabrine and Shelden Williams. I sense domination.
The Spurs will be without Matt Bonner and Michael Finely until mid-January. When the two teams met in early November, Bonner and Finely had 18 points and 7 points respectively.
During the 5 game win streak, the Raptors defense has been allowing 89.8 points.
And did I mention the Raptors have won 5 straight?
Look--I'm not saying these next three games are guaranteed wins, but with the recent play, as well as injuries on the counterpart, there's reason to believe the Raptors can win at least two of three games. I can definitely see the Raptors beating Boston. I truly believe the Raptors can turn the season around, and start playing like expected. But if I've learned anything about this team, it's that they can rip my heart out right after giving me hope.
Hopefully, the year 2010 will the Toronto Raptors better days. It all starts tomorrow night against Boston.